Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Baby Lost Is Never Forgotten

Yesterday was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. For anyone that has experienced a loss though, I'm sure you know that we don't need a special day to remember the little ones that were taken from us far too early. I know I think of my little one all the time. I remember the excitement. I remember the happiness. I remember the fear. I remember the denial.  I remember the pain.  They will stick with me forever and never be forgotten.

I remember the day I found out we were pregnant. I had just gotten back from a trip to Illinois to see my family. I had a feeling we were pregnant but I didn't want to test because Brian wasn't with me so I waited till I got home. The next day I tested in secrecy right before Brian and I headed out for lunch. After almost a year of disappointment seeing negative test after negative test I just preferred not to share my disappointment with Brian anymore. We'd both agreed that this was the last month we were going to try. We already had two beautiful girls and the stress of trying to conceive was getting to us. Although sad, I was at peace with our decision. That said, I took my test and could see that wonderful plus sign appear immediately. I jumped for joy and walked out to see Brian while hiding my test behind my back. I stated that we should go out somewhere fancy tonight to celebrate. Maybe Flemmings or Ruth's Chris. Confused he asked why, and I said with excitement waving my test in the air that we were finally pregnant! You should have seen the look on his face. His jaw dropped to the floor and a big smile came across his face and he gave me the biggest hug ever. We were finally pregnant!!! Even better, my sister had just found out she was pregnant the month before so we were only a month apart. Yay!!!

I immediately made my doctor's appointment to confirm the pregnancy on November 8th 2010. My sister had her next ultrasound appointment scheduled for the same day. It was that day that my sheltered happy perspective of pregnancy was forever altered. My sister called me after her appointment crying and said that she was losing the baby. She was going in for a D&C right now. I was confused, sad, and ... well confused. How could this happen? I just wished I was there for my sister. I wished I could take her pain away. Deep down I wished it was me and not her that was going through this. After all, this would be my third child and her first. How could this be fair? I still went to my first appointment later that day but it wasn't the same. The joy was gone and I had a hard time getting it back. Being pregnant without my sister didn't seem right. I drove out to help her with her recovery and tried not to discuss my pregnancy. Inside I was happy for my baby, but it just didn't seem right.

Weeks went by before my first real doctor appointment. I wrote in my pregnancy journal and took pictures each week. Our doctor was on vacation so I couldn't get in to see the doctor till I was 11 weeks pregnant. It seemed like an eternity. We were so excited to finally see our baby!!! On December 13th 2010, Brian was armed with his video camera and I was armed with my camera and cell phone camera. We're crazy nuts when it comes to documenting this stuff.  We even brought our oldest daughter so she could get a sneak peak at her new sibling.  When the ultrasound tech came in we were ready to go. You could feel the excitement in the air. On the screen she measured one ovary and then the other. She measured the sack and then the baby. Oh I could see my little baby!!! He was mostly a blob but with little arms and leg buds like a gummy bear. The machine wasn't great, but I could see that it was my baby. The tech continued on with her measurements while I flashed some pictures and Brian videotaped. And then it was done. The tech flicked off the screen and said I could get dressed. At that point I had a feeling something was wrong. Why didn't she show us the heartbeat. Isn't that standard??? Brian had no clue. He was still excited as we waited to meet with the doctor.  I didn't want to alarm him, but inside I wanted to barf.  Finally we were moved to the exam room to meet with our doctor.  She sat down and looked straight at me.  "Did the ultrasound tech explain the ultrasound to you?", she asked. "No", I said. It was at that point that my world crashed down.  As she proceeded to tell me that our baby's heart had stopped beating tears flooded my eyes and I started to sob.  I couldn't understand how this could happen. Even though this had just happened to my sister a little over a month before I just couldn't comprehend what was happening. I have two beautiful girls and the pregnancies were perfect. This just doesn't happen. My daughter just played in the exam room. She didn't understand what was wrong. Brian was in shock and tried to console me. In denial I told myself they were wrong. It was a mistake. Although I agreed to the D&C I told them I wanted another ultrasound before to make sure.  They just had to be wrong!!!  The worst part was that they said if I had gone in a week or even a few days earlier, then my baby probably would have been fine.  After I could muster up the strength to stop sobbing we left the building.  The hardest part was when Riley asked me when she'd get to see her baby brother or sister again.  She just didn't understand.  I started sobbing again.

Two days later we went in for our 2nd ultrasound.  It confirmed what we already knew but the doctor was nice enough to hold the wand over our baby for quite awhile just to make sure.  I cried again as we talked about how the D&C would work.  I'm not sure I really heard anything she was saying though.  It was all a blur from this point on.  That night I slept holding my belly, cradeling the little baby that they were going to take away from me in the morning.  All the while I wondered what I had done wrong to cause my poor baby to die.  Why did this happen to me?  Why to my baby?  I cried.

The next morning on December 16th 2010, was my D&C.  It's an outpatient procedure.  Sounds so impersonal when you say it that way.  Like I'm getting a mole cut off or something.  They weighed me, took my temperature, did blood tests, asked me a million questions, and had me get into a gown.  The doctor talked with me and so did the anesthesiologist   He asked me if I wanted some happy juice to take off the edge, but I was far from happy.  No happy juice for me please.  They couldn't get my vein with the first poke in my arm so they went with the back of the hand.  Oh how I hate needles.  After that they rolled me into the surgery room.  Brian couldn't come with me so I went alone.  It's only a 15 minute procedure, but it feels like 5 minutes since they put me out.  Counting backwards I thought I'd never go to sleep.  My arm was killing me from the meds going through the 1st poke in my arm that they messed up.  That's all I remember and then I was out.  I woke up in the recovery room with a nurse reading next to me.  It was over and my baby was gone.  Recovery was kind of like having a baby.  Blood and learning to walk again.  It's so much worse when you don't have the baby to go along with it.

After that I just carried on with what we had planned.  I had to.  My daughter's big birthday party was 2 days after my surgery.  Our Christmas party with all our friends was the next day.  Two days after that was my daughter's Christmas recital, then her gingerbread house making party, then our Christmas block party, then our traditional Christmas Eve snow day, then Christmas.  No, there was no time for dwelling on our loss.  I tried to just push it away and forget.  Somehow it made the pain better.  Of course anytime someone brought my loss up I broke down once again.  Anytime someone mentioned they were pregnant (yes there were 3 announcements that month), I broke down again.  You just can't hide from the pain of a loss.

Time went on and I started feeling better.  Brian and I went on our 10 year anniversary trip we had planned 6 months in advance.  It was two months later when we finally were feeling a little better that we decided we would give it one more try.  Another loss would kill us, but we had to try one more time.  It was then that we got pregnant with Lincoln.  It was a bittersweet moment.  Our naive ideas of a perfect pregnancy were gone.  We lived in fear that a loss was just around the corner.  It didn't help that we had complications that increased our fear even more.  All that said though... Lincoln was born on October 30th 2011, happy and healthy.

I love my three children, Riley, Reagan, and Lincoln, but I will never forget my angel baby.  I never found out if they were a boy or a girl so they do not have a name, but they will always hold a place in my heart that will never be replaced.  I love you baby angel and miss you lots.  

Love and Kisses, 


  1. <3 Thank you for sharing your story, Chana. Huge hugs for you sweetie!

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. I felt so sad reading that :(

  3. Hi Chana- its Tara here from FF (long time no see) I think of you and your wonderful little family often. You are an amazing lady and Mom, and I wanted to share my thanks for all of your support! God Bless

    1. Hi Tara! How have you been? How is your journey going? I've wondered about you too. I hope you are well. Look me up on FB. For some reason I thought I had added you on there before I left FF, but I guess not. : (

  4. Sorry to hear that Chana I felt your pain. Four of my friends lost their babies and it's really painful... so much. The other one it happened 2 weeks ago. I know the feeling of wanting a baby and can not have it.


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